The Botched Meeting
Returning for its penultimate episode, Pennyworth returns this week with another dose of crime drama, one that sees everything left wide open for the finale following a cliffhanger ending and Alfred forced into making a difficult choice.
We begin with Alfred himself being interrogated over the death at his hands. Not getting anywhere, the police instead bring his parents in to talk to him and say goodbye. After convincing them he’ll be okay, Alfred is found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison. As he’s taken to the depths, he immediately asks who’s in charge.
With their majority lost, the Prime Minister addresses the nation and tells them that the next election will be open to all parties, including those that were previously not allowed to vote. Despite Martha’s positivity to the situation, Thomas worries for the future, especially given it could lead to a civil war between the No-Name League and the Raven Society. After some discussion, Martha tells Thomas she’s happy to return to work but Thomas is initially withdrawn to the idea.
Undine Thwaite, with John Ripper by her side, makes a pledge to the people on behalf of the No-Name League; her way of positioning herself for the role of Prime Minister. After discussing the ramifications this may have with Francis, Harwood worries he has under-estimated his opponents and questions whether they may be able to make a truce or not.
Back at the prison, Inspector Aziz comes to see Alfred, asking if he’s willing to kill to get out early. With both rivals working together to form a coalition, Alfred is tasked with taking out Lord Harwood by the Prime Minister, essentially securing his freedom in doing so. We get our answer soon after too, as Alfred returns home and rounds up Dave Boy and Bazza, telling them about his mission.
Alfred receives his call telling him that “the game is afoot” the next morning. His Mother pleads with him not to go, continuing that his Father has cancer. As night turns to day, Alfred says goodbye to his parents before heading off with Dave Boy. They set up their position and hide out as Lord Harwood arrives at the meeting point; the crossroads where he plans to do busines with the No-Name League
With Bet deciding to wait in the car, Alfred prepares the rifle from afar and gets the green-light to fire. As the Waynes arrive, Alfred delays his shot as he learns the pigeons he’s been tasked to kill are Martha and Thomas Wayne. Telling Aziz he needs to think about this, the police panic and decide to move in with Plan B.
Alfred intentionally fluffs his shots, firing wildly at the meeting point as the police arrive, only to have their tyres blown out and engines hit by Alfred as both Lord Harwood and the Waynes escape before capture. With the papers for the truce blowing in the wind, the joint-power bid is thrown into question as the Waynes laugh off their ordeal as Harwood gravely deliberates his future. Alfred, meanwhile, heads home and tells his Mother the truth about the job, that no one died but he was told by the Government to do just that, which is what’s landed him in his current situation.
Hugging his Mother, Alfred apologizes and decides to go on the run. He’s heading off to Wales, at least until everything dies down while Harwood informs the army about the Prime Minister’s plan to assassinate him, trying to coerce them into fighting for him. They refuse, telling them they work for the crown and whatever the Queen decides to do, they’ll follow.
As the episode closes out, Bet makes her move against the Queen, holding her up at gunpoint and telling her to drop her weapons in the middle of the forest while out for a hunt.
With big question marks left hanging over the series, all eyes now turn to the finale where it appears the Raven Society may just have managed to tip the balance of power in their favour. Whether this one is likely to end on a cliffhanger or wrap up all its big plot points in a consistent and satisfying manner remains to be seen but over the weeks Pennyworth has done well to shake off the shadow of its Batman-centric origins and delivered a compelling and well written crime thriller nonetheless.
All eyes now turn to the finale where the final fight between the No-Name League and Raven Society looks set to explode into a flurry of gunfire and carnage. Just who will remain standing in the aftermath of this remains to be seen.